Here We Go Again: US FDA Weighing Accelerated Approval For Biogen’s ALS Drug Tofersen
Company seeks accelerated approval based on changes in neurofilament as a surrogate for efficacy; with controversy over FDA’s Aduhelm approval in Alzheimer’s still raging, agency is again faced with deciding whether biomarker data in a neurodegenerative disease with high unmet need are sufficient to justify approval in the face of a failed clinical endpoint study.
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FDA seeks advisory committee input on whether there is ‘convincing evidence’ to support regular approval for treatment of SOD1-ALS patients even though lone Phase III trial failed its primary endpoint; companies filed for accelerated approval on the basis that a reduction in plasma neurofilament light chain is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit.
Dunn is retiring after an 18-year career that included involvement in some high-profile and controversial drug approval decisions, not the least of which is Biogen’s Alzheimer’s treatment Aduhelm; deputy director Teresa Buracchio takes over the neurology office on an acting basis.
Syngene’s COO, Mahesh Bhalgat, said the firm is better placed than some peers to serve clients for biologics-based advanced therapies and address the cost element for new modalities like mRNA. He also outlines the research, development and manufacturing services company's capabilities in oligonucleotide-based therapeutics, an area that's seeing growing interest.